Power outages threaten, but don’t disrupt, voting in Bennington, Francestown, and Greenfield

  • Voting in at the Francestown Old Meeting House on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting at the Greenfield Meeting House on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting at the Greenfield Meeting House on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting at the Greenfield Meeting House on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting at the Greenfield Meeting House on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting at the Greenfield Meeting House on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The tree that took out power to 2600 customers in Bennington, Francestown, and Greenfield, including polling places, on election day, Nov. 3, 2020. Courtesy of Eversource. Courtesy photo—

  • The tree that caused an electrical outage to 2600 customers, plus several polling places on election day, Nov. 3, 2020. Courtesy of Eversource. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/4/2020 5:33:02 PM

An especially windy election day resulted in power outages at the polls in Bennington, Francestown, and Greenfield after a tree fell on wires, but it didn’t disrupt voting much at all – partly because the electrical company was on standby and prioritizing polling locations without backup generators.

The outage occurred at 10:54 a.m. and and took out power to 2600 Eversource customers, mostly Bennington customers, Eversource Energy spokesperson Kaitlyn Woods said. They were able to restore power to the polls in Francestown and Bennington by 11:35, and had a generator en route to Greenfield at 12:45 p.m. when the final 900 customers got their power back, she said.

Bennington’s polling place was on a priority repair list even before the winds picked up, Town Administrator Kristie LaPlante said, since they didn’t have a backup generator. The same was true of Francestown and Greenfield. Eversource always keeps a list of polling locations but they were paying special attention yesterday because of the wind, Woods said, and kept crews at work centers until polls closed across the region at 7 p.m. in case there were any more wind-related outages.

No towns reported significant interruptions to voting during the outage. Bennington continued to issue paper ballots and nobody needed to use the handicap accessible machines, which require internet, LaPlante said. “The power was out for just shy of an hour… They were able to route power through Deering to supply us,” Francestown Town Administrator Jamie Pike said. “We kept moving forward with voting as usual.”

In Greenfield, voting went on as usual - but colder - with the power out, Deputy Moderator Bruce Dodge said, though they did call for some LED lights in case the power went back out at night while they were counting ballots.

Monadnock Paper Mills was also without power for an hour, Vice President of Human Resources Bill Peterson said. The machines hadn’t been running at the time and were able to start right up again once the facility got reconnected: the company has backup generators, but only for critical functions, he said.


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